Role Play: What It Is and How to Do It
Visit any adult store, and you’re sure to see a selection of props, costumes, and accessories for sexual role play. But what exactly is role play, why do people like it, and how do you do it? Let’s dive in and find out!
What is Role Play?
In short, it’s a game of pretend for adults.
In a role play scenario, two (or more) partners act out a scenario for the purposes of fulfilling a sexual fantasy. Role play can be used as part of foreplay, or a long and elaborate scene can make up an entire sex session. Some couples even take it further and engage in role plays that last an entire night, day, or weekend.
What Sorts of Role Play Can I Do?
The great thing about role play is that you’re limited only by your imagination. You can role play almost any scenario that you and your partner find hot. Here are a few popular scenarios that many people enjoy (and that you may have seen represented in porn or in your local adult store):
- Teacher and naughty student
- Master/Mistress and slave
- Sex worker and client
- Kidnapper and captive
- Sex doll and doll owner
- Two strangers meeting and hooking up for the first time
- Cheating spouses
- Prisoner and guard
- Doctor/nurse and patient
- Pet (such as puppy, kitten, or pony) and trainer
Many role play scenarios have a power play element, but they don’t have to. Again, you can role play almost any scenario you can think of.
Why Do People Like Adult Role Play?
Role play is hot for lots of different reasons. It can allow you to play out fantasies that would be impossible or unethical if they were real (such as teacher/student and doctor/patient scenarios.) It can give you an escape from reality and allow you to get away from the stresses of daily life. For the adventurous, role play is an escape from their comfort zone.
If you’re in a long term relationship, role playing can help keep things hot and intimate throughout your years together. Sex educator extraordinaire Dan Savage says that the best way to keep sex satisfying in a long term relationship is to have “sexual adventures” together. And role play can be one helluva sexual adventure!
What Do I Need to Start Role Playing?
Strictly speaking, you need nothing except a consenting partner and your imaginations! Role play exists primarily in your head and you don’t need any special equipment to do it.
With that said, if you want to take your role play to the next level, you can get all sorts of costumes and props to help you – from French Maid outfits and schoolgirl costumes to slave collars, teacher’s canes, medical equipment such as speculums, and much more.
You can buy many of these things from a physical or online adult store. You could also try costume stores, medical suppliers, ecommerce retailers like Amazon and eBay, and even hardware stores depending on what you’re after. Oh, and don’t forget the pervertable – that is, an everyday object from your home that you can repurpose for your kinky role play.
How Do I Talk to My Partner About Role Play?
Revealing your desires to your partner can be scary. But it’s also the only way to get what you want in the bedroom. Your lover isn’t a mindreader! If you feel nervous about explaining your fantasy, you can introduce them to some porn or erotica that really turns you on. Watching and reading together can be incredibly hot, not to mention intimate. You can also visit an adult store together and browse props or costumes to see what sparks your imaginations.
The best time to broach a new sexual thing you’d like to try is outside of the bedroom when you’re both clothed and have time to talk. You can start by saying something like, “I had a really hot fantasy the other night. It made me think about some things I might like us to try in the bedroom…”
Once you’ve asked them what they think, listen to their response and receive it gracefully. Pressure is the opposite of sexy. If they need time to think about it, give them that time. Remember that ongoing and enthusiastic consent is mandatory.
Anything Else I Need to Know?
If you’re doing a role play that includes any kind of simulated resistance or playing with power and control, you must have a safeword. This is a word that means “no” or “stop” in a context where those words might not be taken at face value. Your safeword should be something you’d never normally blurt out during sex.
“Red” is a popular choice (as in a red “stop” light) but others we’ve heard include “banana,” “canary,” and “aardvark.” Get creative but make sure you can easily remember it.
Unless you have negotiated otherwise, “no” and “stop” are the ultimate safewords and should be taken at face value.
Good luck and happy playing!